If you've been considering replacing your current air conditioning unit with a newer model, you might be hesitant to spend the money, especially if the current one is still functioning. However, just because the unit works, it doesn't mean that it's functioning to its maximum potential, and you could be wasting money by using an outdated or malfunctioning AC unit. Here are five ways that you can tell if it's time to go ahead with air conditioning replacement.
Your air conditioning unit is older than 15 years
Even with proper, regular maintenance, most air conditioners only last between 15-25 years. Beyond this age, they won't work effectively, and you could be wasting money trying to cool your home with an ineffective system. Also, newer air conditioners are more energy efficient, which can help you save even more money on your home cooling costs. Today's units can cool your home using up to 50% less energy than units made twenty years ago, so it's worth the initial investment to see the savings on your energy bill.
You are constantly having to get your current air conditioner repaired
Constant repairs are usually an issue faced by owners of older air conditioning systems, but some newer models can also give you problems. Putting your AC on a home appliance "breakdown" insurance policy may seem like a good way to offset the cost of these repairs, but you still have to pay the policy premiums and any deductible or copay for each instance. This can add up quickly, making this an expensive option. Buying a new air conditioner may seem more expensive up front, but in the long term, it can save you money on repairs.
Some rooms are too hot, and some are too cold
Temperature inconsistencies in your home mean that the air conditioning isn't functioning properly. While it's true that this problem may be rectified with repairs, it's likely you'll have to make additional repairs later on, depending on the problem. If your system is older, you have a two-story home, and you notice that one floor stays hotter that the other, the system could be shutting off before the entire house is cooled. Having a system with multiple thermostats installed can make it easy to control the temperature in every part of your home for maximum comfort and energy savings.
Your air conditioner uses R22 gas
As of 2015, the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC's), including the gas R22, is banned in the US. Systems that use this refrigerant will either have to be altered to use a more environmentally friendly gas, or replaced completely. Depending on the age of your air conditioning, a complete replacement may be the best option. If you aren't sure what type of gas your air conditioning unit uses, look for a small nameplate on the outside of the unit that lists the type of refrigerant used, or check the manufacturer's website.
Your home is excessively dusty or humid
If your air conditioning system is putting out excessive dust or humidity, there could be a problem with your air conditioner. Worn out ducts can let too much dust enter your home, triggering allergy and breathing problems. Along with dust, excessive humidity can also be a big problem. Dust mites thrive in humid conditions, and so do mold and bacteria. These things are definitely not something you want in your home, and if your AC unit is to blame, it could be time to replace it with a healthier, more efficient model.
Speak to a qualified professional heating and air contractor to see if it's time to replace or upgrade your current air conditioner. You could end up making your home more comfortable, save money and make the air you breathe a lot cleaner.